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Industry, Mineral Owners, Farmers Support Fair Pooling Bill

The Exponent Telegram | March 2, 2015

The West Virginia Legislature this year is considering a “fair pooling” bill that if passed would permit natural gas companies to combine — or “pool” — one or more tracts of land together into a drilling unit or units to develop oil and gas wells.

Pooling is not new to West Virginia. State law already allows pooling for deep wells (which are located below the Marcellus formation) and shallow secondary oil recovery and coal-bed methane wells.

The current law does not allow for pooling for horizontally drilled wells. This is a case where the law has failed to keep up with technology and needs to be updated.

House Bill 2688 has been born out of lengthy negotiations between the oil and gas industry and several groups representing royalty and surface owners, and the Farm Bureau. I am pleased to say the bill has support from these groups and many others.

The groups that are supporting HB 2688 include, among others:

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Letter To The Editor: Farm Bureau Supports Pooling Legislation

The State Journal | March 1, 2015

Pooling of oil and gas leases was discussed at a legislative hearing. Delegate Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie, chairman of this major House Energy Committee, was the moderator. Woody, a retired DuPont engineer, is well qualified to lead this committee.

Delegate Ireland has called meetings with various interested parties on pooling. These meetings have included surface owners, royalty owners, oil and gas producers and the Farm Bureau.

I feel there is a great need for pooling, for without it there will be many acres undeveloped thus leaving royalty owners and producers without income they would otherwise receive. Not considering the employment, this development would provide for taxes which would be generated from this oil and gas income.

Please find below part of a letter I have received from the Farm Bureau endorsing Delegate Ireland's 40-plus pages bill on pooling:

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US gross gas output hits record in December: EIA

By Argus Media | February 27,2015 | www.argusmedia.com

Houston, 27 February (Argus) — US gross natural gas production rose to an all-time high in December of more than 83 Bcf/d (2.4bn m³/d) as producers brought new wells on line and restored production from shut-in wells in the Marcellus shale and in Texas.

Output from the 48 contiguous US states, which includes production that does not reach market, rose during the final month of 2014 to 83.03 Bcf/d, up by 1.42 Bcf/d from November 2014 and 15pc higher than a year earlier, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said today in its monthly natural gas gross production report.

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"Forced Pooling" bill moves forward in House

By Alex Wiederspiel | February 26,2015

One of the more under the radar bills going through our legislation has to do with mineral rights for land owners. after compromises made by the oil and gas industry, the bill received the endorsement of the West Virginia Farm Bureau.
 
The bill's purpose is to try and make it easier for the oil and gas companies and mineral rights owners to come to an agreement in areas of land where companies want to horizontally drill. But that can often be held up by a minority ownership amongst the pool of mineral rights owners who don't want to allow drilling over large areas of land.
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Local companies find ways to tap Marcellus, Utica shale-gas business

By Kecia Ball | February 22, 2015

When the overall economy soured in 2008, Highland Tank & Manufacturing in Stoystown – the largest steel tank manufacturer in the country, according to the company – had a fallback: selling to the burgeoning energy industry.

“It was, and is, good business for Highland Tank,” sales manager Robert Duppstadt said. “From 2008 to 2010, it was a positive influx for sales when the economy wasn’t as good in some areas.”

Regionally, exploration and production of natural gas from Marcellus Shale were creating new opportunities for many companies – those with the drive to tap into the need – but Highland has sold beyond the nearby Utica and Marcellus shales to others across the country: hot spots such as the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.

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Poolling legislation would ease development of shale gas wells

By Whitney Burdette | February 15, 2015

Legislation moving through the West Virginia House of Delegates seeks to allow lease integration for deep well horizontal drilling.

House Bill 2688, introduced by Energy Committee chairman Delegate Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie, would allow property owners to come together and agree to allow gas companies to drill deep horizontal wells on their properties. Under current law, one holdout can prevent development and royalties for all other rights owners. Lease integration, also referred to as forced or fair pooling — depending on which side you’re on — would take care of that. It already exists for shallow Marcellus shale wells, but Ireland said this legislation would allow companies to take advantage of the abundant Utica shale, which lies deep under much of West Virginia.

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'Pooling' Bill Supported

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register | February 10, 2015

Editor, News-Register:

I drove a school bus in the Northern Panhandle for more than 20 years. I know this area - and my neighbors - very well.

This area has seen its fair share of struggle and strife, but that is changing in a monumental way with the development of our region's natural gas resources.

I'm a farmer and have allowed natural gas development on my land. It has been a life-changing experience and one that I believe should be made available to all who can take advantage of it.

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Companies "pool" for pooling legislation in WV

By Mandi Cardosi | February 6, 2015

It's inevitable lawmakers will take up controversial bills this session. Of course there will be discussion about fetal pain, prevailing wages and whether to vaccinate children. But amid those discussions, according to some, will be pooling, and they're not talking about the summer recreational activity.

Delegate Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie, is chairman of the House of Delegates Energy Committee. He said he has been working and meeting with energy industry representatives and those with a vested interest in pooling, which would allow gas to be extracted from certain areas even if some landowners object.

It's an issue bubbling up in Ireland's backyard. His native Ritchie County is in a mineral-rich area, and neighboring Doddridge County often ranks as the largest oil and gas producing county in the state.

Ireland said Feb. 3 his committee is drafting a bill related to pooling that he hopes will meet everyone's needs.

“Not everyone is going to be happy,” he said. “We are drafting a bill that will (likely) be introduced next week.”

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Southwestern Commits $2.6 BILLION For Development

By Casey Junkins | February 1, 2015

Despite a decrease in natural gas prices, Southwestern Energy plans to spend an additional $2.6 billion for drilling and fracking this year.

In Ohio County, Clerk Patty Fahey and her staff are busy recording the transfer of documents recording Southwestern's $5 billion purchase of the oil and natural gas leases previously held by Chesapeake Energy.

These leases are some of those reflecting the Houston, Texas-based firm's acquisition of 413,000 acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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Area businesses benefit from Marcellus boom

By Caitlin Cook | December 7, 2014

The U. S. Energy Information Administration released its U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves 2013 report on Thursday, showing increases in crude oil and natural gas reserves year-over-year.

Local energy businesses say they are already reaping the benefits of increased activity throughout the Appalachian basin.

For the first time since 1975, the nation’s crude oil and lease condensate exceeded 36 billion barrels and an increase in natural gas set a new record for natural gas reserves at 354 trillion cubic feet, according to the report.

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